NGO helps get family a home

2017-06-20 06:01
Magdalene Leepi with her niece Nashilene in the house built for them through the help of a Retreat-based NGO.

Magdalene Leepi with her niece Nashilene in the house built for them through the help of a Retreat-based NGO.

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Magdalene Leepi from Retreat and her family will be staying warm this winter in their new house thanks to Passion to Serve NGO.

Leepi, who is wheelchair-bound, took a knock in life. They couldn’t afford rent but their landlord allowed them to stay for free for over a year before they had to leave.

She went to stay at their stand in Retreat where they built a one-roomed shack (“Family squatting in their own yard”, People’s Post, 31 May 2016).

With nowhere else to go they put a wendy house on their plot and had to stay there for months with no running water or ­electricity.

Until they got help from Passion to Serve. The NGO’s primary focus is to help unemployed youth. They work with people from Retreat, Heathfield, Grassy Park, Lavender Hill and Steenberg.

Leepi says what they went through last year is all in the past and the house was completed just in time for winter.

“I’m so happy. It came at the right time before the rains start. I feel so happy and excited to be in my house. I couldn’t wait, so I moved in despite the builder having to finish. There is some stuff that has to be finished up but I’m glad that my house has been standing for months. I’m not complaining; I’m just happy that I will be warm this winter,” she says.

Malcolm Salida, executive director of Passion to Serve, says they are happy to have helped the family.

“We are very happy and have seen Leepi get her self-confidence back, her dignity renewed and her faith in the community and society restored. We are blessed to have been able to spearhead this initiative and sincerely thank each and every donor for their support and selfless gift to the Leepi family.

“Now that she is in her house, the family home has become a place of love, joy and hospitality with the little they have, as neighbours and friends are visiting to share in their joy.

“The old wendy house was taken down finally, and it marks the closure of a great story and an intervention that would not have been possible without the assistance of so many stakeholders and donors. We are glad that through our various interventions we could help her with a temporary toilet and water connection, assisting her to obtain a full grant from the Department of Human Settlements to build a brick house and ­counselling.

“Her niece’s daughter got into a crèche.

“We are over the moon that everything was a success now she is in her house,” says Salida.

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